PERSPIRE: The Team
Ko NakatsuDirector of Abstraction
Ko Nakatsu is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellonís design program with emphasis on psychology and photography. Experience as an interaction designer for a multi-billion dollar online retail site and few design firms, led him to work as a designer, researcher, and strategist in the Advanced Planning and Strategy Department at Nissan North America and Infiniti Global. There, he developed future concepts 5 to 20 years out for global production and cultural inspiration. He went on to design strategic frameworks for the US educational technology industry at Blackboard before starting Potluck. He also worked as a Radio DJ, EMT on ambulances, and as a pizza chef.
Eric LaiDirector of Traction
Eric Lai started his entrepreneurship career leading a marketing and advertising agency for clients across the Midwest helping them transition into new media. He brought this real-world experience and design passion to the academic structure at University of Cincinnatiís DAAP program where he received his industrial design degree. He continued his design experience at GE Appliances and New Balance, whereupon Eric's passion for the global marketplace led him to design internationally for world renowned design firms, Continuum, Ziba, and RKS. There, he led small and large teams to solving complex problems for numerous Fortune 100 clients as well as small start-ups. His experience in conceptualizing new small businesses to hands-on experience guiding Hong Kong and Chinese factories for production has been invaluable for his new venture, Potluck. He has also guest lectured for entrepreneur classes in business courses as well as led workshops in Europe.